The good news for the day June 22
Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time (373)
Jesus says to his students: “Watch out for pseudo-religious people, who come to you disguised as a gentle sheep-like person, but actually are insatiable wolves. By what they produce you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorny vine bushes, or sweet figs from prickly weeds? No, every good tree creates good fruit, and an inferior tree makes inferior fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear inferior fruit, nor can a substandard tree bear good fruit. (A tree that does not bear good fruit will get cut down and used for firewood.) That’s it—by their fruits you will know them.”(Matthew 7)
This principle repeats a theme that we keep reviewing about ourselves: Do you Do good as well as Say it? Many consider themselves right and good, generous and kind, helping and thoughtful—but the truth is that you and I may fail to practice what we preach, to do what we don’t believe. It is easy to judge others, but fail to see we are in fact guilty of producing bad fruit.
If you are a good tree—good things happen that prove it. Good, authentic people eat the fruit you produce, they become better people, and their minds and lives improve. Someone learns to cook because of you. Someone rejoices with you: “it’s a girl!” Some people notice your patience and say so—and become more patient themselves—that kind of thing.
You say honest things that build people up, you apologize and forgive, you are silent with grievers, and you share food with someone who needs it. You do not preach with words, but show others what humility, over-time caring, the extra time spent helping someone is, namely, how to be good.
Bad people—people invested in the current culture of “me”—oppose you and laugh. They make sure people know your faults; they label you with insults and nicknames that imply inferiority. They talk of you as a fool, a drag on society—spreading their legacy of bad fruit by insults, by making the world worse for their being in it. They are rotten apples.